The glacier in 2021 (above) and 2018 (below). It has changed so much in three years, I didn’t recognize it at first.

Russell or Reindeer Glacier in 2018

When I was on the road to the Greenland ice cap here earlier this week, I was looking for a place where the tour I was on in 2018 had stopped so I could rephotograph a glacier that I have since found out is a part of the Russell Glacier that locals refer to as “the Reindeer Glacier.” As we drove along the road, I thought I would easily recognize the spot, but it was harder than I expected, because it has changed so much in three years. Here you see my photo from August 2018 below the photo I just took, in September 2021. I was startled and disturbed by how much ice has disappeared in only 3 years; that extension on the right is gone, the dirt-stained ice on the hill behind it has fallen away, and the whole thing is losing height, too. Local people have confirmed that it has been losing ice and gradually shrinking and retreating for years, and a glaciologist I consulted said that these photos are consistent with observations that show the retreat of most glacier termini in Greenland.

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